Objective: Little is known about the food and weight-related behaviors of Hmong adolescents. This study assessed these behaviors in Hmong adolescents and determined if they differed between Hmong and white teens or by country of birth. Design: School-based cross-sectional study. Subjects/setting: Hmong (n=649) and white (n=2,260) adolescents from 31 public middle and high schools in the Minneapolis/St Paul, MN, metropolitan area who participated in Project EAT (Eating Among Teens). Main outcome measures: Family meals, grocery shopping, and meal preparation; consumption of breakfast, snacks, and fast foods, physical activity and inactivity; body satisfaction, weight concern, body mass index, and weight-control behaviors. Statistical analyses performed: Variables were compared across race/ethnicity and by country of birth using χ2 tests and general linear model regression. Results: Hmong students reported greater participation in family meals and more involvement with food purchasing and preparation. Fast-food consumption was similar among groups. Hmong teens reported less frequent breakfast consumption. The prevalence of overweight was higher in Hmong male adolescents than white male adolescents, but similar among female adolescents. Hmong students reported higher levels of weight concern, body dissatisfaction, dieting, unhealthful weight-control behaviors, less physical activity, and more inactivity than white students. Hmong male adolescents participated in extreme unhealthful weight-control behaviors four times more often than white male adolescents. Conclusions: Hmong adolescents appear to be at increased risk for obesity, body dissatisfaction, and unhealthful weight-control behaviors compared to white adolescents. There is a need for culturally tailored interventions to address these nutrition and weight issues among Hmong adolescents.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by grants MCJ-270834 and T79MC00007, both funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (Title V, Social Security Act), Health Resources and Service Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services.
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